Shopko closes the rest of its stores



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Updated: 16h07 | Posted: 15:40

Shopko, a retail staple in the small towns of Warroad in Winona, Minnesota, is definitely closing.

The company based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, announced Monday a "total liquidation" after failing to find a buyer for stores that are not yet closed or about to close.

"This is not the result we were hoping for when we started our restructuring efforts," said chairman and CEO Russ Steinhorst in a statement.

Shopko had 35 stores listed in Minnesota. The company had already indicated its intention to close 15 of them. Twenty others had been listed as remaining open before Monday's announcement.

David Livingston, a long-time retail analyst in the US Midwest, said the disappearance of the chain was not a surprise.

"They were not able to offer anything convincing compared to Walmart, Target, Amazon," Livingston said. He said that was another of the concerns added to a relaxation of the retail trade affecting large and small businesses.

He also noted that the creditors have also challenged more than $ 100 million in dividends paid to equity owners in recent years, which would have been paid with borrowed money. Livingston said that he thought management was not seriously interested in getting out of bankruptcy.

This is the fourth round of bad news for Shopko, known for building mid-sized discount stores in places too small for Target or other supermarkets, but often at the expense of small towns on Main Street. The company said that it recently operated 49 full size Shopko stores, each with an area of ​​about 80,000 square feet, as well as 71 smaller locations located in the "hometown", d & # 39; An area ranging from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet.

• February 7: Shopko announces more store closures; 15 MN sites now on the list

Shopko had originally announced the closure of about three dozen stores in December, and then increased that number to over 100 during the official bankruptcy filing in January. In February, it again expanded its closure list – to more than 250 of its 363 stores.

According to the company's website, Shopko had previously considered keeping open stores in several Minnesota cities, including Aitkin, Duluth, Ely, Fairmont, Fergus Falls, Glenwood, Luverne, Mankato, Marshall, Moose Lake, Mora, Morris, North Branch, Perham, Pipestone, Rochester, Roseau, Two Ports, Windom and Winona.

The previously announced closures in Minnesota included Albert Lea, Austin, Cokato, East Grand Forks, Glencoe, Hutchinson, Mahnomen, New Prague, Paynesville, Rochester, St Cloud, St James, St Peter, Warroad and Worthington.

The company was founded in Chicago in 1961 and opened its first site in Green Bay in 1962.

Shopko has hired Gordon Brothers for the liquidation of its stores, which should end in 10 to 12 weeks.

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